In our last blog post, we talked about the different areas of the B2C buying experience that corporate Procurement should be applying to their B2B purchases. For Procurement to achieve the engagement that B2C e-commerce has achieved, they need to re-think their eProcurement technologies. Whether it is a retail purchase, search for a holiday rental, or a plumber or carpenter, consumers enter these sites with an idea of what they want already in mind, so they go directly to the search.
These same users come to work only to find antiquated, cumbersome buying processes involving spreadsheets, approval forms, and a purchasing system that punches out to another place to do buying.
Procure to Pay (P2P) has Evolved
Corporate Procurement’s options have been historically limited when it comes to P2P solutions. They have evolved over the last 20 years, but most have stopped at the point where they deliver a cloud-based technology, but still require punchouts for many of the purchases.
Consumers don’t punch out when looking for a plumber, why should they have to visit a different site when buying items for work?
A Next Generation P2P Experience
With the drive to create the next generation experience for their users, Procurement organizations need technologies that are built on 3 critical elements:
- Rich Content -- Images, Descriptions, Characteristics, as well as configurable items.
- Contextual Search - The ability to deliver relevant, contextual information to end users throughout the buying process
- Scalable, Cloud-Based Capabilities -- The capability to support the millions of SKUs across the marketplace.
When these elements are combined, B2B users get the benefit of a B2C buying experience at work. Users log into the purchasing site, search for items, and see only the appropriate results. They add the items to a cart, and the requisition is submitted. this simple, B2C purchasing process encourages users to take advantage of the e-Procurement system to do their buying, increasing adoption and overall engagement.
Search - Buy - Pay
A P2P Solution that creates real value for an organization must provide the organization value in 3 key areas of Procurement: Search - Buy - Pay.
Search - The buying process begins here. The interface and infrastructure driving the end-users buying process must be intuitive, and promote high levels of adoption. Within the technology, The search process has to be simple contextual and provide relevant results to the user, making it easy to add the products to a cart and submit the requisition, without the need to punch out.
Buy - The “Buy” process should seamlessly integrate the capabilities of enterprise Procurement with the simplicity of the B2C buying experience. This includes dynamic and complex approvals workflows that can be automated based on rules and thresholds.
Pay - integrated with the search and pay, Invoicing, three-way matching, and settlement processes are streamlined, reducing the time and resources managing reconciliation exceptions.
Early Adopters are Seeing the Benefit
Our customers have learned that an engaged user community performing their buying in an eProcurement system designed with B2C in mind, like the BuyerQuest system, has a direct impact on Procurement Metrics.
- A Quick Service Restaurant was able to drive high levels of adoption across their disparate enterprise driving significant cost savings
- A Media and Entertainment company saw a multi-branded deployment that brought tens of thousands of users to Procurement without the need for training, achieving their savings and rebate targets in record time.
- And Education services business with a large millennial user base was able to increase adoption and realize dramatic reductions in invoice processing costs, with nearly half the transactions occurring on a mobile device.
The Buying Experience Continues to Evolve - Procurement must Adapt
Only 10 years ago, making purchases on a mobile phone seemed impossible. Today, a large percentage of consumer buying occurs on devices other than a computer. Users have expectations and strong opinions about what they see when they make an online purchase.
Taking a page from the B2C world and creating a consumer-like buying experience for your internal users can have immediate, quantifiable impacts on Procurement metrics, and therefore the business as a whole.
With this transformative shift in corporate buying comes a shift in how Procurement will measure success. In our next post, we'll discuss the evolving metrics for eProcurement.
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